Two of my family’s favorite things about a Walt Disney World vacation are the wide variety of great food choices and the fact that every night can end with a party, complete with fireworks. While we really do love standing with the crowd while everyone enjoys Wishes at the Magic Kingdom or IllumiNations at Epcot, sometimes it’s fun to be able to enjoy the show in a little more comfortable surroundings and off your feet. Having a plate of some wonderful Disney fare in front of you at the same time can make for a truly terrific experience. So, here are a few places where you can enjoy dinner and a show, Disney pyrotechnics style.
‘Ohana at the Polynesian Resort – this family-style restaurant features flame-grilled meats at dinnertime, and a perfect venue for catching the Wishes fireworks show over the Magic Kingdom‘s Cinderella Castle. When the fireworks are about to start, the dining room’s lights are dimmed and the show’s music is piped in to complete the experience. For a nine o’clock Wishes show, we like to ask for eight o’clock dinner reservations and request a table by a window. You won’t always get your window seat, but you will enjoy the show in any case. ‘Ohana is part of the Disney Dining Plan and requires one table service credit, fireworks included!
California Grill at the Contemporary Resort – High atop the Contempary Resort, the 15th floor to be exact, is the California Grill. This restaurant is much more “upscale” than the family-oriented “Ohana. While it is on the Dining Plan, California Grill will use two of your table service credits. The menu changes weekly, but always offers delicious foods made with the freshest ingredients. This is also arguably the very best place in the whole of the Walt Disney World Resort to view the Wishes fireworks show. As an added bonus, the more intimate Wine Room, while not facing the Magic Kingdom, offers a somewhat distant view of Epcot’s IllumiNations show. It’s a twofer!
Casey’s Corner in the Magic Kingdom – Casey’s Corner is an old-fashioned hot dog stand situated at the castle end of Main Street. Casey’s Corner’s seating is largely outdoor and makes for a perfect spot to sit and eat a dog or a brownie and watch Wishes without wearing out your already tired legs. It will take some luck finding a seat, but it’s certainly worth a try. Casey’s Corner counts as one quick service credit on the Disney Dining Plan.
Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party – the Dessert Party doesn’t exactly fit in with the other entries here, but it’s too cool not to discuss. It won’t get you off your feet as it’s a standing room only event, but it does offer an exclusive viewing place and some scrumptious treats to snack on while waiting for Tinkerbell to FLY RIGHT OVER YOUR HEAD! The Tomorrowland Terrace restaurant is closed for this event, and in place of noodles, a dessert buffet is on offer. The event is NOT on the Dining Plan and requires an extra fee and advance reservations. The cost is $15-$35.99 per person and reservations can be made by calling (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463).
Rose and Crown Dining Room at Epcot’s World Showcase – This pub-style restaurant offers patio seating on the World Showcase Lagoon that is the perfect spot to view the IllumiNations fireworks and laser show. Rose and Crown is on the Dining Plan, so one table service credit will set you up with fine pub fare. What could be better than some fish and chips and a cold Guinness while you watch the show? Reservations are accepted and highly recommended.
La Hacienda de San Angel – If margaritas are more your style than a cold Guinness, this is the place for you. With a menu featuring creative Mexican dishes and back tables right on the World Showcase Lagoon, La Hacienda de San Angel would make a great spot to end your day at Epcot. La Hacienda is one table service credit on the Dining Plan and reservations are recommended, especially if you want to see the IllumiNations show.
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